Policy, Transportation

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reached a class action settlement agreement to make 95 percent of currently inaccessible subway stations accessible to those with disabilities over the next three decades, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. Currently, just 27 percent of the New York City subway system, including Staten Island Railway stations, are fully accessible to riders with disabilities. Under the agreement, which still requires court approval, the MTA will make accessible 81 stations by 2025, another 85 stations by 2035, another 90 stations by 2045, and the last 90 stations by 2055.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Less than 25 percent of the NYC subway’s 472 stations are accessible, but the MTA has pledged to increase that percentage to roughly 40 under it’s proposed $51.5 billion 2020-2024 Capital Plan. Back in September, the agency revealed the first 48 stations it would make fully ADA accessible, and now they have announced 20 more (the final two will be announced at a later date), all of which will receive a $5.2 billion investment. Through the upgrades, the MTA’s goal is to ensure that no rider is more than two stops from an accessible station.

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Architecture, Long Island City

Photo © Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl’s Hunters Point Library has garnered glowing architectural reviews since it’s opening last month, but visitors quickly pointed out a critical issue with accessibility in the $41 million building. Although the library has an elevator, it doesn’t stop at the fiction section which is tiered on three levels above the lobby and accessible only via stairs. In light of the criticism, a Queens Public Library official has announced that books in that section will be relocated to an accessible area of the library, as Gothamist reported.

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maps, Policy, Transportation

Photo via Carl Mikoy / Flickr cc

Despite recent progress–and a federal lawsuit–only 23 percent of New York City’s 493 subway and Staten Island Railway (SIR) stations are fully ADA-accessible, a statistic which puts the city dead last among the country’s 10 largest metro systems for accessibility of its transit stations. The MTA has made a commitment to funding accessibility in its much-discussed Capital Plan, but hundreds of stations are still without without plans for ADA access. On Friday Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council released a report showing that the use of zoning tools to incentivize or require private development projects to address subway station access could speed up progress toward the goal of system-wide ADA access–and simultaneously cut public expense. The report, and an interactive map, show the current system, future plans and what the use of zoning tools could accomplish.

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Image via Flickr

After committing to install four elevators at the 14th Street and Sixth Avenue F, M, and L stop as part of a lawsuit settlement, the MTA has now announced it will also be adding elevators to access the 1, 2, and 3 platforms at Seventh Avenue. As The City reported, the 14th Street subway complex between Sixth and Seventh Avenues is one of the busiest stops in the city, servicing more than 48,000 riders a day. The expanded project will make the entire complex fully accessible, though it won’t happen overnight.

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City Living, Policy

Image via Disability Rights Advocates

A settlement in Manhattan Federal Court yesterday has established a plan to improve sidewalk accessibility throughout New York by making all 162,000 street corners in the city fully accessible within 15 years. Judge George B. Daniels mandated a comprehensive citywide survey to identify which corners need curb cuts installed or upgraded, which must be completed by October. This marks an important step toward making the city’s streets easier to access and safer for the disabled community—and all New Yorkers.

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Image via Flickr

A state Supreme Court judge has denied the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s request to dismiss a lawsuit over inaccessible subway stations, amNY reported Wednesday. A coalition of accessibility advocacy groups, including the Center for Independence of the Disabled and Disability Rights Activists, filed the suit. They argued that the MTA is in violation of the city’s Human Rights Law because only 24 percent of the subway system’s 472 stations include elevator access.

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Greenpoint, Transportation

Greenpoint Avenue, MTA

Image via Wikimedia

The MTA is moving into the next phase of construction on the elevator installation project at the Greenpoint Avenue G station, but there’s good news for roughly 9,400 regular weekday customers: the MTA is expecting “significantly reduced impact” to service. Work will also focus on updating station infrastructure including stairs, handrails, turnstiles, powered gates, and braille signage—bringing the station to full ADA compliance.

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Image via Wikipedia

The Astoria Blvd N and W station in Queens will close at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 and remain shuttered for nine months as New York City Transit works on a multi-phase repair project. The elevated station will get four new elevators and other accessibility features. In order to construct the street elevators, the mezzanine level will be demolished and rebuilt with more vertical clearance to prevent strikes by trucks and other over-height vehicles on the road below.

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Bronx, Transportation

Photo via Flickr

On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the MTA was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to install elevators when it renovated a Bronx subway station. The ruling is the result of a 2016 lawsuit initiated by Bronx Independent Living Services after the MTA refused to make a the Middletown Road elevated subway station in the Bronx wheelchair accessible, though the $27 million renovation included new floors, walls, ceilings and stairs to the street and the train platform, Gothamist reports. Ramos’ ruling stated that the MTA is obligated to install an elevator, regardless of cost, unless it is technically infeasible.

Really, MTA?


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